Mother continues to grieve for son killed in crash caused by distracted driving

Experts: Distracted driving getting worse

SAN DIEGO - A local mother continues to grieve for her son who was killed after her sister reached for a cellphone while she was behind the wheel.

Though it's been more than a decade, Elene Bratton is still reeling from the pain.

"I think of my son every day and every day I wish he was here," she said.  

Jaime Bratton was a month shy of his sixth birthday when he was killed.

Bratton was invited by Rady Children's Hospital to talk about how a moment of misjudgment can cause a lifetime of anguish.  

"My sister was driving my son to her home in North County when she reached for a ringing cellphone. The accident left my sister with traumatic brain injury and with the knowledge she was responsible for my son's passing; it's so hard for all of us," Bratton said.  

Despite laws that ban handheld cellphone calls and texting, distracted driving, especially texting, is getting worse, according to a survey by the Automobile Club.  

"It's 10 times what it was before the law was passed," said the Auto Club's Steven Bloch.  

Bratton hopes her message will resonate with others.  

"He had dreams of being a dentist, of getting married and having kids, and that's not just a dream he lost, it's a dream our whole family lost," she said.

National Child Passenger Safety Week began September 16 and lasts until September 21.

According to the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration, in 2011, 3,331 people were killed in crashes involving a distracted driver and 387,000 people were injured.

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